NORFOLK, Va. -- It was a showcase of power pitching Friday night at the Bud Metheny Complex, but Old Dominion could not muster enough offense against Rice and fell to the Owls, 3-1, in the series opener.
In a matchup between aces Nick Pantos and Preseason Conference USA Pitcher of the Year Matt Canterino, Rice (10-18, 2-5) broke a 1-1 tie late in the game with solo home runs in both the seventh and eighth innings.
Old Dominion (16-9, 1-6) received a historic performance from Pantos, who struck out 12 in 5.2 innings of work. Pantos, who finished with a no decision, allowed just one run on six hits.
The 12 strikeouts marked the most by an ODU pitcher since 2008.
Hunter Gregory received the loss, allowing just the two home runs in 3.1 innings of relief.
Canterino, who also struck out 12, earned the win for Rice.
Overall, the teams combined for 35 strikeouts.
The series wraps up tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. ET.
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